$1.25 billion 2018 budget adopted by Arlington Co. Board

WASHINGTON — The Arlington County, Virginia board on Saturday formally adopted a $1.25 billion budget for 2018 — which includes a 1.5 cent increase in real estate taxes for 2017, $23.3 million more for schools and $7.4 million for Metro.

“This budget is a compromise and a consensus of the Board, and reflects the values of this community,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette in a statement.

He cited the “extraordinary funding needs” of Metro and Arlington County public schools as the cause for the real estate tax increase.

“We and every other jurisdiction served by Metro are having to increase our contributions as Metro continues to rebuild. And the County must help APS meet the challenge posed by its growing student population. Both investments are investments in our future,” he said in the statement.

New increases in housing, waste and utility fees include:

•An increase of $6.88 per year in the household solid waste rate, bringing the rate to $314.16 per year.
•An increase to $13.62 per thousand gallons in the water/sewer rate, which would mean an estimated annual increase of $24.50 per household.
•An increase in the residential utility tax.
•A new $60 accessory homestay permit fee.

According to a county release, the average homeowner’s tax and fee burden will rise from $8,305 to $8,582 — an increase of $277, or 3 percent.

Funding for Arlington Public Schools will increase by $23.3 million, to $490.3 million.

The $7.4 million funding boost to Metro brings the county’s total support to $71 million.

Affordable housing will see a jump of $1.7 million, for a total of just over $15 million.

The budget also includes new investments into Columbia Pike ($200,000) and Lee Highway ($60,500).

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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